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6 technology trends in the hospitality industry in 2022

Picture by Picture by Tobias

What do you look for in a property offering accommodation? It’s not just a bed for the night and Wi-Fi anymore, is it? When many of us make reservations these days, we look at what’s on offer in terms of convenience, security, and the technology we need.

Smart hospitality business owners know this and have decided to meet this demand, gain loyalty and stay competitive.

But what are some of the most common tech trends driven by global forces that are especially prevalent in 2022? Let’s find out.

#1. Virtual reality, AI and augmented reality

These three elements are related to some extent, but it’s interesting to see how they are being embraced by the hospitality industry in 2022, in many cases for the first time.

  • VR (virtual reality) is the simulation of a real environment or situation. This is an important development that has particular impact when a potential customer is considering making a reservation. Thanks to virtual reality, the customer can see what is on offer before deciding whether to make a reservation at a venue.
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the form of chatbots intervenes when it is impossible to have staff available. It also allows customers to interact and access hospitality establishments through a range of digital channels, 24/7. We may not like them all, but chatbots can handle and answer simple questions or redirect requests to a human if needed.
  • Augmented reality is like VR technology in that it is digitally accessible. However, all you need is a smartphone or internet access. Unlike virtual reality, the user cannot “enter” a simulated reality. This enhances the environment by providing multi-layered information. One example is touch-enabled interactive maps that offer a wealth of information.

Each of them adds a layer of customer value and convenience while freeing up staff to focus on other tasks and functions.

#2. Energy Saving Technology and Internet of Things

Due to the war in Ukraine, every company in 2022 is increasingly focusing on energy saving. Integrating technology that helps do this is a clear trend in the hospitality industry in 2022. Options include state-of-the-art sensors and detectors which can monitor whether rooms or areas are occupied and turn off power to those that are not.

At the same time, the IOT (Internet of Things) enables connectivity to a range of “smart” devices and devices that collect data and interact through the internet. This can be used to monitor and adjust thermostats and lighting and it also helps reduce energy costs.

#3. cyber security

Without cybersecurity to protect a company’s and its customers’ data, the technology used carries risks that could potentially outweigh the benefits. The hospitality industry received a stark warning in June 2022 when one of the best luxury resorts in Oregon, USA was targeted and sensitive employee and customer information stolen.

On top of that, the war in Ukraine has increased cyberattacks around the world. Investing in enhanced cybersec protection has clearly become a trend in 2022. So, to protect your valuable data as a hotel manager/owner, you should:

  • Protect your devices and those of your customers by using a VPN that encrypts data.
  • Use a guest network to separate their activities from those of your staff.
  • Provide cybersecurity awareness training to your staff.
  • Use the cloud and back up data.

These and other measures will go a long way to protecting the hospitality industry, its customers and its reputation.

#4. Voice search and control

Many of us use voice search via our smartphones or personal assistants such as Siri. We’ve become so accustomed to using voice for a range of functionality that many people expect it when away from home as well.

Trendy, tech-savvy hotel owners realize that this capability must also be built into hotels because:

  • Booking engines and websites need to be structured to work with this technology.
  • Some clients want to be in a home where lights and other devices in the room are controlled by voice.

It’s a win-win because it’s convenient for customers and it makes life easier for staff. It also helps reduce touch technology which can impact the spread of COVID-19.

#5. Contactless payments

The use of contactless payment methods is increasingly popular with consumers and suppliers. However, health concerns generated by COVID-19 have given further impetus to a hands-free automated payment system.

During the pandemic, customers have become accustomed to using or being able to access certain technologies. This has led to an increase in demand and expectation for these technologies in 2022.

Apart from hygiene considerations, contactless payments are also beneficial for hotel suppliers as they are fast and compatible with loyalty programs. Both enhance customer satisfaction. This trend is entrenched as many customers now prefer contactless and cashless transactions.

Man holding smartphone using scanner.
Image by: Jonas Leupe

Image by: Jonas Leupe

#6. Mobile check-in and communication with customers via Messenger

Mobile check-in reduces or eliminates the need for face-to-face interactions. It also allows guests a greater degree of freedom and flexibility in when they arrive and access their rooms. At the same time, it avoids reception queues and other delays and, in times of health problems, limits human exposure.

However, hotels still want to communicate with their customers. Even though mobile check-in and other technologies reduce traditional touchpoints.

Mail guests solve this problem, but it has been found that people do not want to use a hotel-specific app. They prefer to communicate through the apps they already use. Tracking customer tastes improves communication between businesses and customers and makes it easier for the customer to manage their reservations. This feature is often combined with AI in the form of a chatbot.

Additionally, the industry is suffering from a labor slump in 2022. Mobile payment, messaging, and chatbots are helping to mitigate or balance out this shortfall.

SEE: 50 Ways Dogs Communicate With You

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